Blackbird trying to feed swallows

We have a lean-to shed and every year we have a blackbird nest there. She will have at least 3 clutches. Every year we have the swallows nest in there too. They have one clutch then move into the shed next door and raise another clutch. They both have their nests in the same place and return to them each year. 

This year the blackbird chose to have her second clutch in a different place and has 5 eggs. The swallow chicks have hatched and are doing well. 3 I think.

There was a commotion in the shed and when I went to investigate, the B/bird was sitting up on the rafter by the Swallow nest with the parents trying to get it to move. I shooed it off and she went back to her nest. This happened a few times, I watched her incase she was going to hurt the chicks. She is actually trying to feed them. She comes with a mouthful of grubs and is going up to feed them. Is this normal for a bird or is she just broody.

I am trying  to get a video of her doing it. 

Thanks in advance of any replies.

  • This is pure speculation. When Swallows or other young birds detect something coming with food they present their gapes. This is a target for the parent bird to feed them. In this case it's possible that the Blackbird instinctively wanted to feed them especially as its own eggs had not yet hatched.
    It will be interesting to see a video if you can get one.



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  • I will also add to what TJ says, which is correct, swallow chicks, which are blind at birth, will open their gapes at any noise or light, particularly when a camera flash is triggered.

    Also to add, nature has a neat but strange way of helping each other.

    We have feeders in our garden, as many forum members will also have, and one particular feeder makes a good feeding base for the wood pigeons that frequent our garden. What we see is, the wood pigeons will come down to the patio below the feeder, and then either, or both, sparrows and dunnocks will come down and not only feed themselves, but also chuck food on the ground for the wood pigeons!

    So there could be a lot more going on that you first realised.


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